Thursday, April 2, 2009

Monster-A. Lee Martinez

A. Lee Martinez
Orbit, May 2009, $19.99
ISBN 9780316041263

Monster runs a specialized pest control agency that advertises he catches pesty yeti; what he catches is placed in special in cryptobiological containment facilities as these are not rodents. One night Monster stops at the Food Plus Mart where Judy eats Rocky Road ice cream while working the late shift. He saves her life from a runaway yeti who was running wild in the frozen foods aisle.

Soon after that evening incident, Monster has to remove an infestation of trolls in Judy’s apartment. As with the yeti, Judy almost immediately forgets the paranormal events, which proves she must be a person whose mind cannot accept the existence of magic so she dumps those encounters as not being real. However, Monster does not accept coincidence as Judy seems to be the foci in the rise of deadly cryptobiological activity. Not long after her denial, Lotus, who possesses a stone linked to Judy, abducts her. Used to battling dragons, trolls and ogres, Monster follows her to save her life, but quickly realizes he is in deep trouble even more when he fights with his girlfriend who is literally from hell.

This humorous satire lampoons those street corner philosophers agonizing over how the universe began when people are malnourished, un-sheltered, and receiving no health care. The story line is fast-paced from the opening yeti assault and never slows down as Judy seems to have become the center of zany paranormal activity. Readers who believe in boiling the ocean to see what lives on ground below will pass, but the rest of the universe will enjoy Lee Martinez’s biting thriller that amusingly mocks social cosmologists who fail to see a tree in the forest.

Harriet Klausner

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